Professor Graeme Henderson

B.Sc.(Glas.), MA, Ph.D.(Aberd.), Hon FBPhS, FRSB

  • BS8 1TD

1994 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Our research is aimed at understanding the lethality of opioid drugs such as heroin, methadone and fentanyl in opioid overdose and how their lethality (through depression of respiration) can be enhanced by other drugs such as alcohol and gabapentinoids.

Prolonged use of opioids results in the development of tolerance whereby the effect of the drug (euphoria or respiratory depression) is reduced and more drug must be taken to induce the original level of effect. We have demonstrated that the mechanisms underlying tolerance may be different for different opioids and that alcohol and gabapentinoids lower heroin but not methadone tolerance.

We use a reverse translational approach whereby we interview heroin users to find out their views on the dangers of opioid overdose and how that may be altered by other drugs. We then perform controlled laboratory experiments to examine the cellular mechanisms underlying such interactions.

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Research Output

  • 53 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 2 Editorial (Academic Journal)
  • 2 Letter (Academic Journal)

A novel G protein-biased agonist at the δ opioid receptor with analgesic efficacy in models of chronic pain

Conibear, A. E., Asghar, J., Hill, R., Henderson, G., Borbely, E., Tekus, V., Helyes, Z., Palandri, J., Bailey, C., Starke, I., von Mentzer, B., Kendall, D. & Kelly, E., 20 Jan 2020, In : Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 372, 2, p. 224-236 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 86 Downloads (Pure)

    Morphine-induced respiratory depression is independent of β-arrestin2 signalling

    Kliewer, A., Gillis, A., Hill, R., Schmidel, F., Bailey, C., Kelly, E., Henderson, G., Christie, M. J. & Schulz, S., 12 Feb 2020, In : British Journal of Pharmacology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 33 Downloads (Pure)

    Synthetic cannabinoids and potential cardiac arrhythmia risk: an important message for drug users

    Hancox, J. C., Kalk, N. J. & Henderson, G., 24 Mar 2020, In : Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety. 11, 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 30 Downloads (Pure)


    • 2 Editorial activity

    Neuropharmacology (Journal)

    Graeme Henderson (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Neuropharmacology (Journal)

    Graeme Henderson (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Supervised Work

    Polydrug Opioid Abuse & Mechanisms of Tolerance to Opioid Respiratory Depression

    Author: Hill, R., 23 Jan 2019

    Supervisor: Kelly, E. (Supervisor) & Henderson, G. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)